Operational Bulletin 572 – April 29, 2014

Ministerial Instructions: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class Applications

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Summary

Effective May 1, 2014, a maximum of 25,500 new Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications without an offer of arranged employment (including 500 applications in the PhD student/graduate stream), 5,000 new Federal Skilled Trades (FST) applications, and 8,000 new Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications will be considered for processing for the period of May 1, 2014, until April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction. Applications must be completeFootnote 1 and included within the caps set for each program to be considered for processing.

Issue

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides guidance on the processing of FSW, FST and CEC applications, and the twelfth set of Ministerial Instructions (MI12), which comes into force on May 1, 2014.

Background

On June 18, 2008, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) was amended to give the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration the authority to issue instructions that would ensure the processing of applications and requests be conducted in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of the immigration goals set by the Government of Canada.

MI12 comes into force on May 1, 2014, and applies only to FSW, FST and CEC applications received by the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on or after this date. Refer to the Canada Gazette for the full text of these instructions.

Limit on the number of FSW applications to be processed

A maximum of 25,000 new, complete FSW applications will be considered for processing under the occupation list stream for the period of May 1, 2014, until April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction. There is no limit on the number of new applications with offers of arranged employment that will be considered for processing.

Within the overall cap of 25,000 applications, a maximum of 1,000 complete FSW applications for each eligible occupation in Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B as per the 2011 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) will be considered for processing. Refer to the list of eligible FSW occupations in the Ministerial Instructions.

In addition, a maximum of 500 applications will be considered for processing under a PhD student/graduate stream for this same period.

Limit on the number of FST applications to be processed

A maximum of 5,000 new, complete FST applications will be considered for processing for the period of May 1, 2014, until April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.

Within the overall 5,000 cap, a maximum of 100 complete FST applications for each eligible skilled trade occupation will be considered for processing. Pursuant to subsection 87.2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, eligible skilled trade occupations are restricted to occupations in the following categories listed in Skill Level B as per the 2011 version of the NOC:

  • Major Group 72, industrial, electrical and construction trades;
  • Major Group 73, maintenance and equipment operation trades;
  • Major Group 82, supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production;
  • Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;
  • Minor Group 632, chefs and cooks; and
  • Minor Group 633, butchers and bakers.

Caps apply irrespective of whether an application is made with a qualifying offer of employment or a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority.

Limit on the number of CEC applications to be processed

A maximum of 8,000 new, complete CEC applications will be considered for processing for the period of May 1, 2014, until April 30, 2015, unless otherwise indicated in a future Ministerial Instruction.

Within the overall 8,000 cap, a maximum of 200 complete CEC applications for each eligible occupation in Skill Level B as per the 2011 version of the NOC will be considered for processing. Work experience in the following six ineligible occupations cannot be used to qualify for processing:

  • Unit Group 1221, administrative officers;
  • Unit Group 1241, administrative assistants;
  • Unit Group 1311, accounting technicians and bookkeepers;
  • Unit Group 6211, retail sales supervisors;
  • Unit Group 6311, food service supervisors; and
  • Unit Group 6322, cooks.

There is no sub-cap on CEC applications for occupations in NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A, but these occupations are subject to the overall cap of 8,000 new, complete applications.

Guidelines for processing new and existing FSW, FST and CEC applications

All FSW, FST and CEC applications will be considered according to the date they are received at the CIO. In calculating the overall and occupation-specific caps, applications will be considered by the CIO according to the date of receipt and in accordance with routine office procedures.

MI12 does not apply to FSW, FST and CEC applications received before May 1, 2014. All FSW, FST and CEC applications received by the CIO before this date shall continue to be considered for processing subject to the program requirements and Ministerial Instructions in effect at the time of application receipt.

The CIO will assess FSW, FST and CEC applications received on or after May 1, 2014, against the criteria described in MI12 to determine whether the application is eligible for processing. The CIO will make a final determination of eligibility for processing. Applications that receive a negative eligibility determination at the CIO will be returned to the applicant and fees will not be collected. If the CIO makes a positive eligibility determination, the application will be placed into processing and the applicant will no longer be eligible for a refund.

In all cases, applications placed into processing are still subject to the requirements of the FSW Program, the FST Program and the CEC, and all other applicable requirements under the IRPA.

Instructions for processing FSW applications

Complete FSW applications received by the CIO on or after May 1, 2014, whose applicants meet the language threshold for the FSW class as set by the Minister in each of the four language abilities (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing); that provide evidence of the applicant having at least one year of continuous, full-time, or equivalent part-time, paid work experience acquired in the last ten years in the primary skilled occupation as specified in the application; and that do not exceed the caps set out above, shall be placed into processing if they meet the criteria for one of the following three FSW streams:

  • offer of arranged employment stream;
  • occupation list stream; or
  • PhD student/graduate stream.

Instructions for processing FST applications

Complete applications from skilled tradespersons received by the CIO on or after May 1, 2014, whose applicants meet the language threshold for the FST class as set by the Minister in each of the four language abilities (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing), and that do not exceed the caps set out above, shall be placed into processing if, as per the 2011 version of the NOC, they provide evidence of the applicant having at least two years (24 months) of full-time, or equivalent part-time, paid work experience, acquired in the last five years, in one of the eligible skilled trade occupations set out above.

Instructions for processing CEC applications

Complete CEC applications received by the CIO on or after May 1, 2014, whose applicants meet the language threshold set by the Minister for each language skill area (speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing), for their occupational skill level; that do not exceed the caps set out above; and whose applicants are not claiming work experience only in one or more of the six ineligible occupations listed above in support of their application, shall be placed into processing.

Work experience in the six ineligible occupations set out above cannot be used to qualify for processing. In order to be placed into processing, the applicant must have claimed at least 12 months of work experience in one or more eligible NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupations. In assessing the applicant’s claimed work experience, the CIO will review the information provided by the applicant in the Economic Classes – Canadian Experience Class form (IMM 0008 – Schedule 8) submitted with their application. The conformity of the work experience claimed by the applicant to the corresponding NOC description will not be assessed by the CIO in making the final determination of eligibility for processing. This assessment will be made by an officer once the application has been placed into processing.

Once a CEC application has been placed into processing, an officer may refuse the application if they determine that the applicant has work experience only in one or more of the six ineligible occupations listed above and does not have the qualifyingFootnote 2 work experience in other NOC Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B occupations. In determining whether the applicant has the qualifying work experience in other skilled NOC occupations, the officer will consider all other occupations that the applicant has specified in the IMM 0008 – Schedule 8 form and any supporting documentation submitted with the application.

If, after considering all other skilled NOC occupations specified in the application, the officer determines that the applicant has the qualifying work experience, they should continue to process the file as usual.

If, after considering all other skilled NOC occupations specified in the application, the officer determines that the applicant does not have the qualifying work experience, they must return to the occupation and claimed work experience about which they have concerns and that was subject to the final determination of eligibility at the CIO. In accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, the officer must afford the applicant the opportunity to respond to any concerns related to the occupation and work experience in question.

After receiving additional information, if the officer is satisfied that the applicant has qualifying work experience, they should continue to process the file as usual. If the officer is not satisfied that the applicant has the qualifying work experience, they should refuse the application.

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